If you run any kind of business, understanding the different digital marketing tools available is a must. Every move must be strategic and useful in order to fully understand the audience and their needs to develop campaigns and tactics that work.
There are a number of digital marketing tools on the market designed to assist the marketing team in organisations of every size. First, you must consider why you need the tool and how it will be used.
The tools listed here can assist in every element of the marketing and consumer journey.
But first, let’s start with the basics.
What are Digital Marketing Tools?
Essentially, digital marketing tools are anything which takes the guesswork out of running campaigns. This can mean offering concrete data on what works and what doesn’t, or creating easier and smarter ways to reach your audience.
Digital marketing tools are also helpful for knowing what’s proving to be successful for competitors in your niche, or for fleshing out the details on which kinds of campaigns are providing you the best ROI, and why.
With that in mind, here are the nine essential categories of digital marketing tools which every business should at least be aware of.
1. Website Analytics
Analytics will help you determine how your content is performing on the platforms you use. Knowing what the data says will assist in creating the right content for all your audiences to keep them engaged.
Here are a few tools that get the job done:
Kissmetrics is a popular analytics tool that helps to increase conversions on your websites. This platform tracks visitors who come to the site and records their entire conversion journey. Reports are available to identify these areas to make enhancements wherever needed to increase sales.
Almost every marketing person uses Google Analytics for finding out who their visitors are and what they want. This marketing tool allows sales funnel tracking of your visitors in real time.
More importantly, Google Analytics is a central location where you can view the success of all of your marketing campaigns in terms of driving traffic to your website. If you have Google Analytics set up right, you’ll even be able to track which channels drive the most sales.
2. Website Testing
Testing your website is one of the most important elements of your entire website development strategy.
The smallest change to your website can have a significant impact on visitors and revenue. Using testing tools to assess your pages helps make the right changes at the right time for the right audience:
Unbounce is used to build, change and publish new landing pages that can be tested before being introduced on a wider scale. This is a valuable CRO tool, as it allows you to figure out which messages and design elements your users respond to the best.
This can have a real impact on other marketing strategies. For example, the more time you can get users to spend on your site, the healthier your SEO will be.
This tool combines digital marketing tools for visual creation and targeting, allowing the quick implementation of tests to specific users. It also has the capability to centralize customer data to determine which tests will be given to certain audiences.
This is invaluable for ecommerce businesses, where even the slightest fluctuation in conversion rates can lead to massive changes in revenues.
3. Display Retargeting
Everything your customers do on the web leaves their imprint.
That imprint follows them all throughout the web, with advertisements from those companies where they did not make purchases. These are retargeting ads, and can lead customers back to your site to make that purchase.
Retargeting is essentially when you target an ad to users on one platform, based on their behaviour on another. Here are a couple of digital marketing tools which will help you get started doing this:
AdRoll is one of the most popular retargeting tools, with a customer base of over 20,000 brands. It is used in conjunction with major social media sites and offers help from its employees if needed.
Chango has a wide variety of retargeting features. With this platform, you can combine your own information with audience intent data the platform has accumulated to provide additional levels of targeting for your campaigns.
4. Paid Social Media
Depending on how large your organisation is, or whether or not you have the budget, paid social media is usually a crucial part of any digital marketing strategy.
Social media platforms help organically reach your customers but also help promote your brand to a larger audience of active users. This is a good way to pay for impressions where you know your messages will reach the masses.
This is particularly important nowadays, as social media companies seek to increase their own profits by weakening bran’s ability to get much organic reach.
Nanigans is a multichannel platform, but centres on Facebook marketing. It works to make targeting more efficient and is used by some large corporations as an effective marketing tool.
Twitter Native Platform
Twitter should be included in your digital marketing strategy as consideration for advertising. The functions in this platform allow certain keywords to be identified so the user will be targeted if they tweet with that specific keyword.
Facebook Power Editor
Facebook has its own tool for the creation and distribution of ad campaigns. This is a good choice for novice marketers, as well as experienced marketers in managing advertisements. You can also use Facebook Ad Library to check out what’s worked for other brands.
5. Email Marketing
An email will always be an integral part of the consumer journey.
Although one of the oldest marketing tools, it is one of the most effective. Companies continue to invest large amounts of money into email marketing software that will keep them close to the people that are interested in their brand.
Here are some of the most popular digital marketing tools for email campaigns.
Hunter is a tool that allows you to find and verify professional email addresses for cold outreach. You can use it to find a specific person’s email address, or all the email addresses associated with a particular domain.
Apart from finding and verifying email addresses, you can also use Hunter to set up and run outreach campaigns using your Gmail or Outlook account.
Known as one of the most powerful email marketing platforms today, MailChimp is easy to use and provides comprehensive email campaigns. It’s also incredibly easy to use, with powerful analytics, and a drag and drop template editor.
Marketo is a comprehensive solution that is powerful enough to allow the integration of email into existing automated marketing campaigns. This is an advanced solution for those marketing teams that operate on a higher scale.
Everyone knows that we are living in the age of social media, or rather to say, an age where social media connects almost all of us in some ways. When you hear the words ‘social media’, it brings many different connotations with it; the negative effects it can have in the worst scenarios, the big companies behind the apps, the sheer number of people who use social media every single day. However what we don’t tend to think about so much is the power of social media as a set of marketing tools that can be invaluable for businesses of any size. This article will explain how exactly social media can be used in this positive way, and how influencers are a key part of this process.
What Is An Influencer?
It’s likely you’ve heard of social media influencers, but you may be wondering at this point who they are and what exactly they do. There is actually no one definition of what an influencer is, but essentially we can say that on social media they are someone who exerts influence over their ‘followers’ to encourage a certain type of behaviour in them. This can mean anything from product placement and generating sales, to trendsetting and circulating new fashions. A social media influencer is someone who has both the power to change the purchasing decisions of their followers, and a good deal of knowledge and experience about the product or experience they are trying to promote. Often, their power to change their audience’s habits comes from having a relationship with that audience, and this is usually through prior knowledge of the influencer (celebrity/ someone who is familiar through culture), by engaging with the followers, or a combination of these methods.
Another feature that might define a social media influencer is that their following will be in a specific area, relating to their own expertise or career. For example, a famous athlete’s followers will be made up of people who share in this interest, and so their influencing capabilities will be particularly potent in the marketing of sports products or brands. So you can see that social media influencing is all about matching the advertiser’s expertise to the audience.
It is also important to remember that a high number of social media followers does not automatically equate to audience influence and influencer status. There are many other considerations and signifiers as to whether a person is influencing their audience’s behaviours. This might come down to how many of their followers actually follow and share the links they post, engage with the pages and brands they promote, or use their discount codes for example.
This explanation of what an social media influencer does is actually contrary to the common use of the word ‘influencer’, which people often use to describe people with many followers, who document their everyday lives and occasionally advertise lifestyle products such as clothes, makeup and brands they themselves use. It is true that this generates sales for these companies, however this is not the essence of influencing. A true social media influencer is someone who actually engages with their followers and has a decent level of expertise on the product area.
Celebrity status or familiarity with wide audiences is often confused for true influencer status on social media. For example, a reality tv star may have millions of followers, but if she/he does not engage with them, or promote brands and products that would actually appeal to those followers, they might not be influencing any consumer habits at all and therefore, they are not true influencers. People are more likely to take advice and make decisions from influencers who have more expertise, as this is easier to trust.
So, the key points you need to remember about who influencers are and what they do:
Expertise and experience in the products they are promoting
Specific following – doesn’t necessarily have to be large!
Engagement with their followers
The Influence Market
Social media influencers are essentially the advertisers within a specific market, and this specific type of social media marketing is known as influence marketing. Essentially, the influencers endorse products, also known as testimonial advertising. Social influence is a very useful tool for brands and companies because it can be used to make trends and encourage influencer’s followers to buy their products. Brands often love to use social media influencers to market their products as social media is such a widely used platform, and many people will see the influencers’ endorsements.
It is useful to think of this market as a straightforward advertising market. We can see that the companies who make use of social media influence are the product providers and that the social media influencers are essentially their own advertising agencies. Of course, the bigger the following they have, the more likely it is that a social media influencer will actually have their own agent who will negotiate any marketing deals for them, however the smaller ones are less likely to. Therefore, we can say that this is a fairly straightforward market once you understand that the product that is being paid for is the influencer’s expertise and their engagement with their audience. The aim of the brand is that these will equate to more sales for them and more engagement with their own company.
How big is the influence market?
Considering that an amazing 3.5 billion people globally actively use social media and growing, it is safe to say that the influence market is equally exponential and already considerably large. The influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth an incredible 15 billion dollars by 2022, showing that it is very much an up and coming area of growth in the online world. This is one of the fastest areas of growth on social media, and there is much evidence that suggests businesses get a very high level of return on investments they make into this process. It is also worth noting that Instagram is generally seen as the social media platform that social influence is most successfully conducted on.
Another particularly compelling statistic is that over 92% of people turn to someone they know when they need advice. Nowadays of course, when we follow someone online and engage with all their material, it is easy to think that we know them somehow, and we are much more likely to take advice from them than a complete stranger. This has led to a situation where most people’s behaviour is influenced at least a small amount when they spend time on social media, even if they are not aware of it. Naturally this means that across the industry there is a considerable opportunity for people to be influenced in their consumer trend behaviour.
What does this mean for small businesses?
For a small business or company who hasn’t used influencers before, there are a few things to bear in mind when thinking about approaching one for a marketing opportunity.
Firstly, there are many different types of social media influencer. They can be categorised by number of followers for example: mega, macro, micro and nano influencers. It is worth remembering that micro influencers can actually be more influential than macro influencers since they reach a very niche and engaged set of followers when they post product endorsements.
It is also important to note that these individuals are not merely marketing tools, but rather social relationship assets with which brands can collaborate to achieve their marketing objectives
Yet another thing to consider is the fact that you will need to make sure the influencer you choose to approach aligns with your business values and ethos. This is a vital step in making sure the branding and messaging to your audiences is not confused or compromised by someone else’s values.
These are just some of the ways in which influencers can be a useful tool to businesses, and are a connecting presence on social media. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of how social media influencers can connect a brand to new audiences, and what exactly the social influence market is. You should also be able to see now that social media can be a fantastic tool for businesses and small companies when it comes to consumer influence.
6. Video Hosting
Having videos on your site and integrating them into your marketing channels increases engagement and viewership. However, it’s generally not a good idea to host videos directly on your site.
This will slow down your load speeds and harm your SEO.
Knowing which tools that will make the experience user-friendly is key:
Vimeo is widely used by both individuals and businesses for high-definition, ad-free videos. Think of Vimeo as being a bit like YouTube, without all of the members of the public stumbling upon your videos.
Wistia is not widely known but is effective in hosting, customising and sharing videos across the web. It caters to personalisation, with the ability to add a custom CTA at the end of each individual video.
This customises and personalises the consumer journey.
7. Content Creation
What is a website without content?
There are a number of content formats – infographics, blogs, videos, and more. Knowing how to create your content in the most aesthetically pleasing, yet informative way will keep your brand in the limelight while attracting larger audiences.
Here are some of the top tools for a range of different kinds of content marketing.
Landscape by Sprout Social
This platform resizes images for social media based on each requirement. Every social media platform has unique size requirements, which constantly change. Being able to have the right sized picture for your platforms saves time and money.
This makes landscape one of the truly indispensable digital marketing tools.
Canva is quickly becoming the go-to destination to create unique images. If you do not have an in-house graphic designer, this is a platform that will provide the imagery you need with crisp, clear images.
Already have an image that needs to be touched up? Canva can handle that as well.
Have content but need an image? Visual.ly creates images based on the project, pairing it with the content provided for great imagery that works.
Graphic Design Tool for non-designers, thanks to the simple UI and Drag and drop feature that makes Desygner fast and easy to use. With many features free to use, Background Remover, Resize Image and many more. Desygner also has Royalty Free Images and access to 120+million shutterstock images. One oif the best tools free to use, you can do it all with Desygner.
8. Content Curation
Sometimes, it’s difficult to have enough original content to share with your audiences. However, social networks privilege brands which post consistently, so this can be a double edged sword
For variety, you can use a content curation tool that will give you unique content based on topics you choose. These can be integrated into your feed so you will always have content to share:
Scoop.IT finds and shares content to your social platforms, blogs, websites and more. All you have to do is set it up with the kinds of content you want to curate, and integrate it with your other platforms.
Your marketing team may have a number of buyer personas. Kapost allows the marketer to assign different pieces of content to each of your buyer personas to help with conversions.
9. Search Engine Optimization
There are some powerful SEO tools on the market that can enhance your digital marketing strategy and make things a lot easier:
Moz is a top performer in the SEO tool market. They offer two different products that focus on SEO and localising your market. Very simple to use, marketers can get the information they need in a seamless platform.
Semrush tracks the competition, examining their backlinks and rankings. The platform also has the ability to conduct a competitive analysis to see where you stand against their efforts.
These are just some of the digital marketing tools available to enhance your digital marketing strategy. There are also tools for affiliate marketing, customer service, and organic social media.
While you may have heard of some of these or some other ones that were not mentioned, all of these digital marketing tools are top-notch platforms for businesses of any size.
If you need advice on any aspect of using digital marketing tools, contact ProfileTree today.